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existational psychology

By maycevanessa Feb 24, 2014 462 Words

Humanistic psychology evolved in the 1960s as a reaction to psychodynamic psychology and behaviorism. (Moore, 2001). Humanistic psychology is of the thought that we are all exceptionally individuals and the individual owns their lives to the point of autonomy. Carl Rogers, one of the pioneer for Humanistic psychologist, explained that to be fulfilled as an individual has to believe and trust in one self. If on the other hand, the individual has not trust or self-belief then the person encounters issues and problems in life called deviations of character. Under this understanding in therapy a person learns to identify with compassion for self and work to accept who they are as well as develop love and respect for who they are. Abraham Maslow also had a powerful view of humanistic theory. In his understanding people are essentially decent and are driven to attain self-actualization (Moore, 2001). He also introduced needs as steps in a pyramid. The first needs are functional and survival needs which enables going into the next step. In today’s world this therapy is very important as is a new age and much needed understanding of unconditional love first to ourselves and the world around us. At the same token, people in today’s world are much more distrustful of the ambience around them so therefore the acceptance of us and the people around us becomes rather hard and gives birth to be in flight or fright positions that goes against the positivism of the humanistic theory but a new realm has given birth to positive psychology which follows the original theory modernized to the world we live in today. Existential psychology is based on the holistic thought that the soul and heart of a human being is the quintessential interest for actualization (Spear, 2001). This theory explains that people are the entirety of themselves as a complete essence. Is the understanding that we are valuable and have a purpose in life that must be fulfilled. To enable this the therapy results via an immersion in the person’s lives to walk in their shoes and be participants in the role of who the person is.


Moore, T. (2001). Humanistic Psychology. In B. Strickland (Ed.), The Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology (2nd ed., pp. 313-314). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from

Spear, J. (2001). Existential Psychology. In B. Strickland (Ed.), The Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology (2nd ed., pp. 232-233). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from

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